What is Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is a health care profession that involves assessing, diagnosing, treating and preventing injuries and disability. Physiotherapists are experts in determining WHY patients have pain and WHY they are having problems moving and functioning normally following an injury, illness, or other cause. Physiotherapists use this knowledge to figure out the best personalized treatment plan with the goal of minimizing pain and restoring movement and function.
What should I expect when I see a Physiotherapist for the first time?
The physiotherapist will ask you lots of questions such as;
-Where do you have pain? Or other symptoms?
-How long have you had pain?
-Did you have a specific injury or did your problem come on gradually?
-What makes the pain worse? What makes it better?
-How is the problem affecting your life at home/work and your usual activities?
-Have you ever had the same problem before? Or previous surgery or treatment? Have you had x-rays or tests?
-How is your general health? Do you take any medication?
Once the physiotherapist has a good idea of your problem, he/she will then conduct some tests. These involve testing your range-of-motion (seeing how far you are able to bend and straighten your knee), reflexes, ligaments, specific muscles/tendons to see if they are tight/weak/strong, different nerves, joints, etc. Depending on where your problem area is, the physiotherapist will do other specific tests – i.e. test your balance, your core muscles, your ability to concentrate (following concussion), etc.
The physiotherapist uses the results of the tests to figure out what is causing your problem (formulate a diagnosis), and will explain this to you. Then, the physiotherapist can put together a specific treatment plan that will help you recover.
How often will I need to see the Physiotherapist?
This completely depends on what type of problem you have, how long it has been a problem, whether you do any exercises (homework!) that are prescribed to you, etc. The physiotherapist can let you know the best treatment schedule for you at the initial assessment visit.
Is Physiotherapy painful?
The goal of physiotherapy is to DECREASE your pain! So should not increase your pain!
The initial assessment can sometimes stir up symptoms because we want to do test that localize the problem… but as soon as we zero in on the diagnosis, then our goal is to make you feel better!
Is Physiotherapy covered by Alberta Health Services?
Physiotherapy is no longer routinely covered by AHS, with the exception of a few circumstances (i.e. you’ve had surgery, a fracture, etc.). However, many extended benefits cover physiotherapy services. However, Two Hands Physiotherapy requires payment upon receipt of services, and we are not an AHS service provider.
Will my benefit package cover this service?
So long as your coverage includes extended health benefits, then yes, you should be covered! All of our therapists are licensed by the College of Physical Therapists of Alberta.
Do I need a doctor's referral?
No. You no longer need a doctor's referral to access physiotherapy services. Just call in and make an appointment!